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Centre and state are not meeting public expectations, admits Manipur CM N Biren Singh

ACKNOWLEDGING that the state and the Centre have not met the “expectations” of the public in Manipur, state Chief Minister N Biren Singh said this was reflected in the BJP’s defeat there in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections. Accepting responsibility for that defeat — Congress won both seats — he said, in an interview to The Indian Express, that it was time for him to work with “even more conviction.”

This was the first election that Singh and the BJP faced after the ethnic violence broke out in the state a year ago in May 2023. The Inner Manipur constituency was won by Congress’s Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, a professor from Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, who defeated his BJP rival; the Outer Manipur reserved seat went to Congress’s Alfred Kanngam Arthur who defeated his rival from the Naga People’s Front, a BJP ally.

Asked if he considers the result as a verdict against him, Singh said, “Why not? As Chief Minister, I must take full responsibility.”

He acknowledged that Manipuris in the valley and the hills are upset with the governments at the state and the Centre for not meeting “public expectations” on law and order.

“In the last year, due to the complexity of the violence, neither the state nor Central government has been able to take strong actions against the groups on both sides. This has led to dissatisfaction amongst the valley people with both governments (in the state and at the Centre). Although law and order is a state issue, the Central Forces play a key role here, yet we are not meeting public expectations. This is why we lost in the valley. In the outer areas, similar sentiments exist. However, resolving the issues in Manipur is complex, and many don’t understand the core problems. Identifying and

Read more on indianexpress.com